I-League: Pune FC look to open gap on rivals for second spotApril 14th, 2012 - 8:56 pm ICT by IANS
Pune, April 14 (IANS) Pune FC welcome back some key players as they look to cement their second place in the table and score some crucial points against Churchill Brothers SC when the two teams meet in the 25th round of the I-League at the Balewadi Sports Complex Stadium here Sunday.
Striker Jeje Lalpekhlua is back from injury, which is good news for Pune FC, but whether he makes it to the starting line-up entirely depends on coach Derrick Pereira, who is expected to take a call Sunday. Jeje, however, is in the scheme of things as he has been named in the squad of 18 in place of Paresh Shivalkar.
Another plus for Pune FC is return of Anas Edathodika, who was out due to double bookings. He will replace NS Manju in the defence line, which needs to be strong to hold back Churchill’s onslaughts.
With 43 points, Pune FC has two rounds -against Salgaocar SC and Mohun Bagan- remaining making Derrick Pereira’s task all the more difficult. Churchill with 41 points is at their heels and it would be anybody’s game with only three rounds remaining in the season.
While the battle for the I-League title seems to be over with Dempo SC touching 50 and seven points clear of the challengers, the fight for No 2 spot has become livelier. East Bengal, who has played a game less than Pune FC is at 41, something that the Pune team should keep an eye on. One bad match and the team can go tumbling down the ladder.
Among the top teams, Pune FC has an enviable record of five wins on the trot, something even Dempo has not been able to manage. That kind of statistics should give the team strength to carry on with its campaign that has been exemplary to say the least.
In head-to-head too, Pune FC has clear edge over the Goan team, having beaten them in an away tie 2-0 last December. While the spoils were shared in the 2010-11 season with each team winning in away matches, Pune FC had scored 4-0 in their maiden season at home.
- I-League: Pune FC take on Salgaocar - Apr 17, 2012
- Pune FC face test of belief against Lajong - Jan 27, 2012
- High on Bagan win, Pune FC hopes to beat East Bengal - Jan 13, 2012
- Pune FC sign defender Ralte - Jul 30, 2012
- Churchill's chance to claim No.2 spot - Feb 05, 2012
- Federation Cup: Pune FC placed in tough draw - Aug 31, 2012
- Pune FC to face Sporting in I-league football Friday - Oct 26, 2011
- Pune FC geared up to face Pailan Arrows in IFA Shield - Mar 03, 2012
- I-League leaders Dempo host dangerous Pune FC - Feb 04, 2012
- Armando drops Bhaichung along with 11 seniors from World Cup probables - Jun 02, 2011
- Relegation-threatened Mumbai FC face Dempo - Jan 31, 2012
- Dempo eager for win against Pune FC to defend I-League title - May 26, 2011
- Pune FC ready to counter East Bengal in Federation Cup - Sep 18, 2011
- I-League clubs refuse to release players for Caribbean, UK trip - Aug 09, 2011
- I-League: Pune FC beat Chirag United 3-1 - Nov 02, 2011
Tags: april 14, challengers, churchill brothers, defence line, derrick, double bookings, east bengal, enviable record, gap, jeje, manju, mohun bagan, paresh, pereira, scheme of things, seven points, spoils, starting line, striker, team strength